Getting back to our Offices and onto our Construction Sites after Covid-19

blank

#WorkingSmartWithCovid19 is Worksmart Contracts’ plan to get our staff back to work, both in our offices and on-site, in the safest way possible. The health and well-being of our employees, clients and design teams is paramount during this time.

Below, we’ve listed the measures we’re taking as a company to ensure the safe return of our employees into our offices and onto our sites.

  • In order to return to work safely, we are consulting with our external Health & Safety Advisors along with HSE, various construction industry bodies and our own experienced team. We are assessing and scrutinising every aspect of Health & Safety, while developing new procedures and updating old ones.
  • Office Staff will continue to work efficiently from home and engage with each other through video and conferencing calls. When access to the office is necessary, it will be done on a rota basis with only so many staff members being in each zone at a given time.
  • We will be consulting with key clients, scrutinising and assessing ways in which we can work better. Likewise, Worksmart will be engaging with our supply chain on how we can join the dots and create system to ensure the best possible outcomes.
  • We are establishing a series of online training sessions with our Site Supervisors, Site Managers, Project Managers and Contracts Manager. This will be chaired by our Operations Manager and Health & Safety Consultant.
  • Our updated Health & Safety documentation will be issued to our clients and their design teams for assessment before being implemented on site. Documents will also be sent to our extended teams & supply chain partners.
  • All offices (on-site and off) will be fully sprayed and deep-cleaned before staff return. Additional cleaning regimes will be applied and carried out daily. Perspex screens/glazed partitions will also be utilised.

blank

  • New site inductions will be implemented. These will cover everything from arriving on site to First Aid, to new signing in procedures & parking. Daily updates and meetings will occur covering HSE, RIDDOR & more.
  • There will be specific Risk Assessments and Method of Work Statements on how we can minimise risk of spreading the virus. We will assess the 2m social distancing rule and implement stronger measures if necessary.
  • New procedures will be undertaken in staff offices. These will be similar to on our sites but specifically adapted to the office environments. Measures such as: thinning of work stations, additional cleaning processes, extra hand-san and wash stations, additional signage, desk booking system to work in zones, Perspex screens & glazed partitioning will all be introduced where necessary.

  • We will carry out temperature checks using hand-held infra-red thermometers which can be held at a distance. From this we can ascertain who should self-isolate. This will be supported by COVID-19 posters to inform everyone before they come on site, enter the office, or use welfare and rest facilities.
  • We will establish all PPE, sanitiser stations, wash stations, masks, glasses, goggles, gloves, etc required to minimise spread of the virus. Sites will be set up at the right time for everyone to arrive when permitted to return to work.
  • Regular on-site cleansing in the form of large spray facilities will be used on each site by trained persons to spray general areas, sign-in stations, offices, welfare, toilets etc in order to help keep areas disinfected.
  • We will help staff when it comes to planning their travel to work and ensure company van hygiene is maintained. All cleaning regimes, parking arrangements, public transport travel plans and restrictions will be carried out in line with government advice. We will keep our teams together and in their own geographical areas. No tool sharing will be permitted.
  • Specific welfare arrangements will be made for tables, seating, cooking and preparation areas. People will be required to sit 2m apart and there will be staggered break times to keep numbers in these areas to a minimum. Special measures will be put in place for all washing and sanitization areas. Regular cleaning will be required, as well as the necessary waste removal procedures.social distancing
  • We will be introducing one-way systems in the workplace where required to reduce potential contact with others going back and forward between zones.
  • We will be holding all ‘tool box talks’ outside in the open air where and when appropriate. This will help prevent too many people being in an enclosed space at one time and prevent the spread of the virus.
  • We will extend our permit to work process to include a working within 2m COVID-19 permit. This will be supported with an assessment to have to work within 2m and flow charts to try and assess other ways of working beyond 2m.
  • Staggered start times will be introduced on-site and within our offices to help reduce transport on roads during congested times of the day, reduce queues into sites and signing-in stations. We will generally reduce the numbers of operatives and staff within each working area and our normal 8-hour day will become a 12-hour day utilising a flexi working approach.
  • We will assess which trades are in any working areas at a given time. We want to minimise one trade mixing with another on site. This will involve extending the working day to have specific trades in certain areas at certain times, followed by their neighbouring trades in their own time. This will reduce numbers on site and we may have to bring weekends into play where applicable.
  • The new way of working will require us to get familiar with the new practices, thus there will be a daily Tool Box Talk on COVID-19 and informative signage. We will also see the introduction of Worksmart Contracts’ COVID-19 site wardens. These wardens will be easily visible with their unique high-vis vests and are there to help remind us all in how we must work.
  • We will reduce visitors to site and our staff offices as much as possible. The fewer people visiting, the safer it is for staff who need to be there. We will triage visitors and only bring people in on a must meet basis.
  • Site meetings will be reduced, as the fewer people on site the safer it will be. We will be recommending more video calls and conference calls on various platforms to help visually understand matters and to continue relationships.
  • We will reduce the need for clients and certain design team members feeling the need to attend site. We will support this digitally with video calls, conference calls, Facetime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc. We will utilise GoPro cameras to carry out safe walk-throughs on site and send films digitally where required.
  • We will continually challenge ourselves and our supply chain on how we can work better and safer. We will assess the daily updates from the Government and HSE along with construction bodies to make improvements where possible.
  • We will work closely with our clients and their design teams to assess safer ways of working and building what has been designed. We will be innovated in our thinking and adapt successfully to the new normal.

#WorkingSmartWithCovid19

Check out our other blogs

Follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

#MakeItWorksmart

The Year Ahead with Covid-19 – Getting Back to Work After Coronavirus

blank

How Can We All Get Back to Work After Coronavirus?

At the time of writing, we are in the sixth week of a seven-week lockdown, imposed by the Scottish and UK Government to help prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. Despite many companies adapting and working from home, the question which needs to be on everyone’s mind is what happens when we go back to the office after the COVID-19 lockdown is over? Is it even possible for things to return to normal and to work after coronavirus?

We’ve spent the last few weeks asking ourselves this very question. We’ve been challenging ourselves to find solutions that will maximise the health and well-being over our 47 staff working over two offices and a collaborative workspace. Going back to basics, we looked at our principles and asked how we can do things in a safe and cost-effective manner.

We want to share with you some things which we consider to be essential on the journey of returning our teams to their offices. These measures will be crucial in getting the country back on its feet in a controlled and strategic manner.

On 23 April, the First Minister of Scotland released an initial draft of a document that she says is the beginning of the conversation to ease the lockdown get the country back to work. She stressed that there will need to be a “new normal” and it is this new normal which Worksmart will help to create within our places of work and learning.

The most important thing throughout all of this is the well-being of employees, clients and by extension the general population. When it’s safe to do so, we will return to work. When we do so, certain measures will be put in place to help suppress the virus. This will ensure safe and healthy re-integration into the workplace and a steady transformation to a new normal.

Our Staff are the most important factor in our business and we need to ensure they are as safe as they can be. Not only that, they need to feel safe, valued and confident in their working area. This goes for people in every market sector. We need to empower the workforce, making them feel comfortable while they work in order to allow them to work efficiently; in spite of these challenging times.

Well-Spaced Offices

blank
Fewer people in the office will become the norm

After the COVID lockdown, it will remain essential to keep social distancing measures in place for some time. This won’t be limited to the streets; it will also play an important role in the office and workplace in all market sectors.

Post-COVID, our architects and designers will strive to use available space in such a way that employees are given their own space, a healthy distance from other people. This will be very important, with people sitting at their office desks for up to 8 hours of the day.

Workspaces will need to be assessed. When they don’t comply with the 2 metre distancing rules, they will need to be removed or highlighted as a non-working workstation. Meeting rooms, conference rooms, boardrooms etc will also need to have chairs removed to facilitate social distancing.

More uptake and participation in video and conference calls will follow on from our home working boom. The advantage here is that people will feel far more comfortable using the technology now that it has become part of their everyday working lives.

By keeping people a safe distance apart, we can mitigate the spread of the virus and lower the chance of another spike in the curve.

Glazed Office Partitions and De-Cluttering

blank
Partitions will help limit face-to-face contact in the office

In addition to spacing, removing boxes, excess files, storage and general accumulations should be carried out to create further circulation space. We have agreed to implement a degree of glazed screening to main thorough routes in some of the general open plan office areas. This will help with general screening for airborne issues and also will assist in acoustics.

There will be less person-to-person interaction and more video and conference calls within our own internal teams too. The Glass panels will also assist in reduction of sound transfer with the increased video calls. The introduction of headsets to reduce number of voices speaking will also be needed. In addition, fully glazed offices can be created quickly and effectively to provide increased confidentiality and controlled working environments.

More open areas can be created for general collaboration and for rest and well-being. All of which will help our teams relax in these new challenging conditions and ease us into a comfortable way of working in our new environments.

Design & Workstations Adapted for Coronavirus

In addition to de-densifying workstations to create the required distancing, desk mounted screens in a full variety of permutations can be easily added with sound absorption panels and acrylic clear screens above to give added screen protection. This will help with sound attenuation that will become a concern with the increased number of video and conference calls.

Staff well-being should always be the number one priority for an employer and we should be considering sit-stand desks to promote a healthier work space. This is important when thinking about returning to work after coronavirus, but will also have knock-on effects in other areas of health and well-being in the workplace.

Air Filtration Systems to Help Prevent Coronavirus Spread

Ensuring fresh, clean air is being brought into our workplaces is going to be top priority after this crisis when it comes to allowing staff back to work after coronavirus. We work with the leading manufacturers to ensure all air filtration systems we install on refurbishment and fit-out projects meet the highest health and safety standards. The current position of air filter systems in offices may need to be altered to assist in more effective air-flow.

Staggered Working Patterns after COVID-19

A great way to ease people back into the shared workplace is by utilising staggered shifts. Alternating staff either one separate days or different working hours, will help to keep workplaces less crowded. This could mean someone working half of their hours at home, and half in the office. This type of system would be especially useful for businesses working from a small office.

Some companies already use flexi-hours which reduces the actual volume of people within a working environment at peak time such as early morning and late afternoon. The future of the workplace could see the widespread use of such systems.

This should also be extended to people’s lunch breaks. Having everyone take lunch at the same time will lead to many people in the same place at the same time: something we should all try to avoid for a while until there is a vaccine or treatment. Unless we adopt these methods of staff shifts, it will be very difficult to return to normal work after coronavirus

Dedicated Hand Washing Areas

Hand-san has really come to the fore in the last couple of months, with many people now carrying portable bottles of alcohol-based anti-bacterial hand sanitizer whenever they leave the house. Frequent hand washing is going to be incredibly important in the post-COVID world and we predict many offices will be designed with dedicated areas in each office space for sanitisation.

This could involve extra sinks being installed or simply areas where bottled hand-sanitizer dispensers are readily available for everyone to use.  Encouraging staff to remain vigilant and wash their hands on a regular basis will help prevent the spread within the workplace.

Welfare, Rest and Toilets

Increased cleaning regimes are required to be followed by staff and other people entering the office environment. Ensuring we wash accordingly and use the added cleaning sanitising products in these areas is crucial. We must also use sealed bins to help everyone keep germs under control and have a cleaner and safer workspace.

Everything in the office should be taken into account when it comes to cleaning. This will include light switches, sockets, door handles and all commonly touched surfaces. These will need regular cleaning. This can be supported and positively promoted using the right signage in the required areas.

No Sharing

We’re sorry if this comes across as a bit rude, but it’s going to be necessary. Once everyone is back to work, we’ll be encouraging people to bring their own cutlery, bottles, mugs etc to use at work. This lack of sharing should also extend to things such as keyboards, mice, pens, phone chargers, cables etc.

Workplace Disinfecting

Upon completion of a project, whether that be an office refurbishment, building upgrade or fit-out, everything should be completely disinfected with bac50 sanitising solution or similar. These products disinfect all surfaces to kill all bacteria and germs including COVID-19. This will allow teams to return to a fully hygienic and safe working environment.

HSE and Approved areas of Works

It has already been confirmed by the HSE that their system for RIDDOR is taking a significant interest and role in assessing if working environments are fit for working. They will want to ensure that all the risk assessment, method statements and ways of working have been assessed, planned and communicated to the team. They will be holding everyone accountable for their working environments to ensure people are safe. They are taking COVID-19 seriously, as we all are.

New Normal

While we don’t know for sure how long this process of re-integration will take, we can assure you that we will be following the science and advice given by the government and health authorities to ensure our clients and our own staff are as safe as possible when they return to work after coronavirus.

We have taken the time to scrutinise how we can make the working environment safer for our teams. We hope that this will help you in looking at ways of getting your own teams back to work. We are here to support and advise on how you can make the changes to your workplace interiors and office spaces through fast-track office refurbishments.

This is a real opportunity for businesses to look at how they could and should be working moving forward. This is the chance to really cement their teams within their business, regardless of market sector. Having the right working environment: one which is modern, flexible, efficient and safe, makes us all comfortable and encourages a better level of work.

For very little cost, a significant improvement can be made which will be to everyone’s benefit. The measures outlined above will allow us to return to work after coronavirus and ensure the safety of staff.

We are certainly doing it and will be sharing more across our blogs, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

We are here to help.

#MakeItWorksmart

Lockdown Lookback – Fit-Outs and Refurbishments

blank

As we enter into another week of lockdown, we sincerely hope you’re coping well and that you and your loved ones remain in good health. With all construction sites in Scotland remaining closed at the moment – except a few deemed essential work by the government – we thought we’d use this time to look back at some of the best fit-out and refurbishment projects we’ve undertaken in recent times.

Scotland House London

fit out/refurbishment office london

On the banks of the Thames sits a facility for Scottish enterprise in London. Made up of offices, conferences rooms and event spaces, Scotland House is the ideal base for Scottish organisations to collaborate and work with companies from around the globe.

For the refurbishment project we carried out an interior refurbishment of over 6,000 sq ft of premium custom office space and meeting rooms. This included new flooring, decor, partitions, tea-prep areas, welfare facilities, new audio-visual equipment and a complete upgrade of all electrical systems.

But don’t just take it from us, here’s what the First Minister herself had to say “Scotland House demonstrates the very clear, modern approach to innovation and design that as a country we project every day.”

Ayrshire College Dam Park Building

fit out/refurbishment college

Over the last few years, we’ve enjoyed a fantastic working partnership with Ayrshire College. All of our apprentices receive excellent tuition from the college when they complete the academic part of their apprenticeships at their campuses across Ayrshire. As well as this, we have been commissioned to carry out several refurbishment projects across the various different campuses, including this one at the Dam Park Building in Ayr.

As is usually the case when carrying out refurbishments of schools, colleges and universities, we had a strict 8-week window to work with. After that, we’d be unable to carry out operations within the campuses due to the presence of the returning students and staff.  We’re glad to report that we were able to deliver another first-class project involving a full strip-out and fast-track multi-trade refurbishment fit-out of 17,000sq ft.

15 different trades were utilised for this refurbishment project over the course of the 8 weeks and it was completed both on-time and budget.

Commscope

 office refurbishment

Commscope are a worldwide communications company with offices and hubs across the globe, including right here in Scotland. Their Kirkcaldy offices were in need of refurbishment, and we took on the task of creating a dynamic workspace fitting for a company of Commscope’s stature.

Across an 11-week period in 2019, Worksmart carried out a refurbishment consisting of: a new office environment, laboratory, test room, staff kitchen, breakout area, comms rooms and meeting rooms. The result is a colourful space that encourages productivity and collaboration.

Komfort Polar Double Glazing was used throughout this project to give an elegant look, while also providing the privacy needed during confidential meetings.

Kilmarnock Football Club – Chairman’s Club Lounge

refurbishment lounge kilmarnock football club

After a hugely successful first phase of refurbishments and fit-outs at Kilmarnock Football Club, we have recently begun work on phase 2 of the works. As part of that first phase we completed the brand-new Chairman’s Club and Lounge at Rugby Park.

The refurbished hospitality lounge is used to cater to club members and guests on match days, as well as being available for events. It was designed as a focal point for people who have one thing in common: a love of Kilmarnock Football Club.

The Kilmarnock Football Club Board stated: “Worksmart Contracts were appointed to undertake the major refurbishment of two of our hospitality lounges within the stadium of Kilmarnock Football Club. Worksmart Contracts completed the refurbishment within the timescale allocated and the standard and quality of their work was exemplary.”

Keep an eye on our social media feeds for news on the newest phase of works going on at the club.

Edinburgh University

 refurbishment university edinburgh

This was an exciting project for us to undertake. With offices in the capital, Edinburgh is like a home from home for us. When the opportunity arose to carry out a project at Edinburgh University, many of the Worksmart Team were eager to begin.

Working within an old existing building full of character and its own challenges. The project involved the Interior Refurbishment of existing classrooms, including multiple trades with new joinery, ceilings, mechanical, electrical, data, decoration paintwork and more.

Working at educational institutions such as Universities come with tight deadlines and on this particular project Worksmart’s Site Manager done a tremendous job; even putting in extra hours to ensure completion before the students returned to their studies.

Edinburgh is such a vibrant and exciting city, so it was great to be working with Edinburgh University on this refurbishment project.

Have you been inspired by this blog? If you’d like to enquire about a Fit-Out or Refurbishment project, we’d love to chat. You can get in touch by clicking here.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Connect with us on LinkedIn

We also offer Fire Door Inspection Services

Worksmart Company Briefing Meeting Recap

Steve Neilson Worksmart Contracts Refurbishment Scotland

Acorns to Oak Trees – Where we were, where we are and where we are going.

Professionalism, Honesty, Value, Loyalty and Competency. The five core values we work towards here at Worksmart Contracts. This was the topic of discussion at our company briefing meeting in the new East View Suite at the recently refurbished Park Hotel in Kilmarnock; a stunning venue for any function or event.

Over the last few months, the Worksmart team has worked hard on this project. The result of the effort is plain to see, and we’re delighted with the results. The Park Hotel project, in addition to the new Blues at the Park Restaurant and projects within Kilmarnock Football Club’s Rugby Park Stadium, has resulted in a very busy last few months.

Following the success of the last Alignment Meeting two years ago, the Worksmart management team wanted to communicate to the entire Worksmart Team under one roof. Quality time was needed to go through each and every department to discuss the current situation and our goals for the future.

blank

We believe it’s important for the full team to understand where each of the departments are, what they are trying to develop and improve, and what they are looking to do in future. It’s crucial that each team is able to see how this interacts with other departments and how the business benefits overall from the process. For a company to be successful it must be efficient. At Worksmart, we recognise this and are working to improve our efficiency in every aspect of our business.

The conference was opened by Steve Neilson presenting images of recent projects. Professional photography coverage was once again provided by the talented Guy Hinks, who was also on hand to photograph the event. Following on from that was a general overview of the structured development of the company. This included the aims of Worksmart, job roles, responsibilities and a look at recent investment in the company such as: IT systems, vehicles, newly branded workwear.

Worksmart Contracts Joiner Scotland FitOut Refurb

Steve also informed the full team of the success of Worksmart Fire Door Inspection and also the newly formed EMC Projects Ltd. This has just been formed with Worksmart and Michael O`Brien, a well-established electrical and communications business owner.

It was then the turn of Lisa Neilson to address the room, discussing the need for everyone to working smarter, embrace their job roles and responsibilities, the quality management system, training, betterment and more. Lisa went into the last few years of the overall Scottish and UK construction industry markets and their trend lines, along with the comparison between the UK trend and the Worksmart trend. She demonstrated how Worksmart has been able to sustain business levels through the tough times and are slower to be affected by the downtrends, and react better than others in the market.

Worksmart’s Business Development Manager, Jim Harkins, then informed the team of all the excellent work at the front end of the business. This included the marketing, the new CRM system and how we have it linked together. He then spoke about how we harness these systems to stay up-to-date with market trends and integrate with our consultants.

Jim also touched on the CPD Seminar which is being delivered by Worksmart Fire Door Inspection all over Scotland, including two with RICS in the coming months at their Glasgow and Edinburgh offices.

Barry engaged with the team and discussed how the full and extended Estimating department works, integrating with Jim in BDM and controlling tenders in and out. He told how the use of the new Conquest system making us more efficient and working well with our process flows, and assessing sub-contracting partners and ensuring they are at the best price point and quality.

The Park Hotel Kilmarnock East View Suite

Paul took us through the Commercial and Procurement side of things and went through the new additions to the team, speaking about how everyone works collaboratively with the other departments within the business. He stressed the importance of every cog in the wheel playing its part and how the business is the sum of its parts.

After this, Gary, who heads up Operations, took the time to go through all aspects of the system and its requirements. He also welcomed the extended team, now featuring additional Contracts Managers, Project Managers, Site Managers, Site Supervisors, Joiners and Apprentice Joiners. This accounted for some thirty plus members of the team. We have developed our company and our team to be highly sustainable and diverse, ready to take on and deliver Interior Contracting projects all over Scotland and the UK.

Mhairi took us through the HR side of the business, making everyone comfortable with the systems and procedures while going through various aspects of the Core Values. These values were created at the aforementioned Alignment meeting two years ago.

The conference was then closed out with Steve back on stage giving everyone a refresher on the Acorns to Oak Trees outlook.

Worksmart Contracts Fit Out Refurbishment Contractor

On behalf of the entire Worksmart team, we’d like to take our hats off to Gordon Anthony, Hotel Manager at The Park Hotel. It is always important to feel comfortable and be well looked after at conferences and we were certainly well looked after by Gordon and his fantastic team at the Park Hotel. Thank you for a first-class service.

 

 

Dyslexia in the Construction Industry

blank

It is estimated that up to 20,000 people within the construction industry could be dyslexic and many of the people with the condition are completely unaware. The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has estimated that between four and 10 percent of the UK population is dyslexic meaning up to 2.9 million workers may be affected.

These numbers are surprising, and mean that each and every one of us will know someone who is dyslexic. The BDA estimates that four percent of the population is seriously affected by the condition. A further six percent experience less serious difficulties.

Dyslexia Scotland Construction Industry

According to Dyslexia Scotland, some of the difficulties involved with having dyslexia include: Problems with reading, taking notes, remembering numbers, names and details and problems with written work, such as spelling and writing.

Research has shown dyslexia to be more prominent among architects, construction workers, entrepreneurs, farmers, scientists and in the medical profession. With the condition – which can be classified as a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – being found more prominent in our own industry, we felt we had to do more.

At Worksmart Contracts, we want to make sure everyone feels at home and included. Whether you’re in the boardroom or on the front lines producing some of the finest Fit-Outs and Refurbishments. Everyone is in this together, and no one should ever have to feel like they are at any kind of disadvantage or falling behind their peers.

Dyslexia Friendly Construction Materials

Once we realised the scale of this issue, we felt the need to do our part and address it. In our company vision and values, we state that we “value our health, our happiness” and we offer “consideration, helpfulness and friendship to others.” These are the principles we work by every day. We are committed to helping others, especially when it comes to the health of our employees.

Over the last few weeks, Worksmart Contracts has been preparing a dyslexia-friendly version of our site induction literature. These materials are crucial for people working on a live construction site. They cover everything from PPE to on-site conduct to first aid and parking.

For anyone who has ever struggled to understand something, whether it’s in a book, during a lecture or while watching a movie, it can be embarrassing to admit you need help. Because of this, it’s critical that these site induction documents are dyslexia friendly.

The formatting of this document will make it much easier to read for anyone suffering with dyslexia. Failure to read and understand the document fully could result in some serious accidents on a construction site. Hopefully with this new dyslexia-friendly version, we will be able to ensure complete clarity for everyone.

Our Health and Safety Consultants, Amalgamate, have been involved with one of our site teams who wanted to take this development on, in addition to them delivering some fabulous fit out & refurbishment works on their own projects.

construction company helmet health and safety

Worksmart Contracts Managing Directors Steve Neilson said: “We’re proud to be taking this step to help people with dyslexia. These site induction materials are extremely important in our industry. We’re delighted that they will now be available in a format which is suited to everyone’s needs.”

The site induction document is the first of a series of on-site document developments we are working on. As ever, we will keep you informed as things progress.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Connect with us on LinkedIn

We also offer Fire Door Inspection Services

 

Worksmart Contracts continue successful run of projects with The Park Hotel in Kilmarnock

blank

Park Hotel Kilmarnock Refurbishment Continues

What a start to 2020 for Worksmart Contracts! We can now announce the agreement of a contract for the new extension to the Park Hotel in Kilmarnock. This extension will form the Café Bar facility and work on the fit-out and refurbishment begins this month.

This follows on from a hugely successful 2019, and continues our working relationship with The Park Hotel. Worksmart Contracts has previously undertaken other fit-out and refurbishment works within the Park Hotel, which is one of Ayrshire’s leading hotels and function facilities.

The Refurbishment Master Plan

This particular project forms part of the client’s master plan for the hotel, which is owned and run by Billy Bowie, Mandy Bowie and Gordon Anthony. Award-winning local architects, Thomson Hunter Architects, designed the facility and will continue their own run of projects with the client on this project. Thomson Hunter continue to demonstrate their mantra of understanding their clients’ design dreams and requirements and provide them with a superior bespoke service.

Following on from a busy and successful Christmas and New Year, The Park Hotel has once again decided to work with Worksmart Contracts and Thomson Hunter Architects for the next phase of development of the hotel. The upcoming Fit-Out will provide further facilities and benefits to the hotel and its guests.

Previous Fit Out and Refurbishment Works

Site Supervisor of Worksmart Contracts looking over refurbishment works at The Park Hotel Kilmarnock

Initial stages of the development in 2019 saw a new toilet-block extension being added to the main function suite. This provided additional high-quality female, male and disabled toilet facilities. Next, we relocated the Blues Restaurant from its existing position on the first floor to a more accessible area on the ground floor. In doing so, we also gave it a fresh, vibrant feel to make it even more appetising for hotel guests and the public. With the relocation of the restaurant, space was created for the new first floor function suite which overlooks Kilmarnock Football Club’s Rugby Park ground.

These three projects required a great deal of flexibility, as they were being undertaken in a live and busy hotel and function facility. Our goals were achieved successfully as we worked alongside the client’s team to ensure the safe running of the existing facility at the same time as the works were carried out to the three affected areas over a period of several months.

Positive Feedback on Fit Outs

Guests have received the new renovations very well and many positive reviews of the new facilities have been left online. We are excited to begin work on the new Café Bar extension, which will further improve the experience of visitors and guests.

The new Café Bar extension will be added to the front right-hand side of the existing hotel. It will directly face Kilmarnock Football Club and will offer something different to the guests. It will make for the perfect pre-match ritual for families attending the football.  The café will be a welcome addition to the hotel and will complement the other three phases. The extension offers new indoor and outdoor facility space to be used for food and drink with a great outlook.

Local Kilmarnock Partnerships

Worksmart Contracts team carrying out fit-out and refurbishment at The Park Hotel Kilmarnock

Worksmart Contracts are delighted to have secured the works and to continue a successful relationship with The Park Hotel and Thomson Hunter Architects. Please keep an eye on our various Social Media platforms to watch the project develop.

Mistakes to Avoid During an Office Fit-Out or Refurbishment

blank

Committing to a new office Fit-Out or Refurbishment is a significant undertaking. There are a lot of moving parts involved and you need your brand-new office up and running again as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there are many mistakes people make when carrying out a Fit-Out or Refurbishment. We’ve listed some of the top pitfalls to avoid:

Set Aside Sufficient Time Before the Project Begins

blank

Carrying out a refurbishment or fit-out is a big task, no matter the size of the project, a lot of work needs to get done. In the midst of all the work, it’s likely that there will be one or two unforeseen hiccups that slow down proceedings. In order to ensure that this doesn’t cause the whole house of cards to tumble, you need to ensure ample time is allowed for the works. This will allow everyone on site to do what they do best, without any unnecessary added pressure landing on their shoulders part of the way through the project.

Always Have a Contingency Sum Available

As we’ve previously stated, a lot can happen during a project, sometimes there are unforeseen works that creep up on even the most diligent planners among us. These hidden works can end up requiring some extra budget to be added on; when this happens, you do not want to come up short. Having a safety net is important in all aspects of life, so it should be a habit you retain throughout your next fit-out or refurbishment project, too.

blank

Plan your Fit-Out/Refurbishment Properly

By this, we mean that everything you want should be accurately planned in the planning stage. That does seem obvious as I write it, but many clients are overly focused on cost-cutting in the planning stages. This leads to them leaving out aspects of their vision to reduce spending, only to later add them back in while work is underway.

When this happens, budgets swell, deadlines stretch and tempers fray. Effective planning of your Fit-Out / Refurbishment is crucial to its success; make sure it’s done right.

blank

Teamwork is Everything

To ensure a project is completed successfully, everyone involved needs to be singing from the same page. By working together, it is much more likely that a project will run smoothly. Contractors, architects, surveyors and engineers: all of these people are experts in their field, trust them. Clients who disregard the advice of the people they’re hiring are often the ones who come unstuck. Only by working together can we bring the client’s vision to life and ensure the project is delivered successfully, on-time and on-budget.

Include Everyone

Make sure you involve everyone that will be affected by this project. That means current employees and other companies you work with on a regular basis. Divisions such as IT and Security should be consulted on all plans, as they themselves will have a lot to set up after the project has completed.

Whether it’s the implementation of a server set-up, the connection of the network or the alarm systems, other people need to be kept in the loop when a Fit-Out or Refurbishment is taking place.

And last but not least…

You may also want to let the neighbours know to expect a little extra noise for the duration of the project!

Do you have an upcoming project? Get in touch with us, we’d love to discuss it with you!

Worksmart in the Community

blank

Our Local Community

Worksmart embrace and believe in supporting our local community in numerous different ways. This includes being involved with various local charities, and supporting local causes that empower local people and help to grow the local economy.

Some such charities we work closely with include Centrestage, a community-based organisation who run events, classes, meet-ups, shows and more. Their ethos is based on Fun, Food and Folk, and they provide lots of great entertainment and learning opportunities for people around Kilmarnock.

Partnership with Ayrshire College

As well as this, we are very involved with local schools and colleges. Local apprentices join Worksmart every year and among other works will often be involved in projects in local organisations. Most recently we have seen this with our works at Ayrshire College and Kilmarnock Football Club.

In the case of the former, some of the apprentices were literally working on their own college, as they attend the academic part of their apprenticeships at Ayrshire College – another part of our ongoing partnership. By taking on local apprentices we see it as investing in our industry and helping to ensure that we will have enough skilled labour in years to come.

Supporting our Local Club

blank

Nothing brings Worksmart more pride than seeing its name up around Kilmarnock F. C’s Rugby Park Stadium. The Club’s home ground has undergone extensive regeneration in recent years, with Worksmart Contracts being heavily involved in the refurbishment works within the stadium. The all-new Champions Lounge is a place where people can enjoy the atmosphere and hospitality offered by Kilmarnock F.C and experience the history of the Club.

Recently, Worksmart has worked on the new restaurant within the Park Hotel, which adjoins onto the football stadium. This interior refurbishment has created a modern and comfortable feel for hotel and dinner guests, and has taken yet another part of the local community up a level. It has also created more jobs and opportunities for local people in the process.

Ayrshire Samaritans

The Ayrshire Samaritans are another fantastic organisation doing wonderful things for our local community. They work tirelessly to help people suffering from things such as depression and help people come back from dark places. Worksmart try to promote their services whenever possible, and raise money to help their cause. If anyone is reading this who has been going through a tough time and doesn’t know where to turn, you should click here.

Pushing Boundaries

blank

Worksmart have been working with the Women in Construction & Women in Property programmes for some time now. These programmes are working to raise awareness in the industry and increase the number of women working within the construction industry.

Over the last year or so, we have dispatched our own emissaries to various high-profile events within our industry aimed at promoting more female involvement within the construction industry. These events are a melting pot of ideas and inspiration; you can read about Kellie-Ann’s recent trip to the Women in Construction here.

blank

Recognition

This year, our first ever female joinery apprentice received the prestigious John Mathers Trust Award for her career achievements during her time with Worksmart. Briony collected her award at a ceremony held at Ayrshire College back in March and it’s not only a testament to her hard work, but the hard work of people fighting for a more diverse and accepting workforce.

Change is happening within our industry and Worksmart are proud to be helping shift attitudes on the matter.

Our Future

Going forward, Worksmart will remain heavily involved with organisations and projects within our local community, as well as programmes that we believe are for the good of our industry. We are a company with certain visions and values which we wish to uphold and never stray from.

You can keep up-to-date with everything going on at Worksmart by following us on our social media channels.

If you’d like to be a part of the Worksmart Family, you can view our job vacancies here.

If Worksmart sounds like a company you’d like to get into business with, fill out an enquiry form here and we will get back to you to discuss your project needs.

How Worksmart Deliver Value to Clients

blank

In today’s world the expectations and demands placed upon those in the industry are high. We are doing more work, in tighter timeframes and for less money. Every company within the sector has three main areas in which they must compete: Cost, quality and differential.

“Why should we use Worksmart?” is asked in relation in all three before projects are awarded our clients and their professional teams.

blank

Cost

Worksmart use trained and experienced estimators and quantity surveyors to calculate and build our professional tender submissions. These highly experienced professionals are aided by strong relationships in our sub-contracting and supply chain, right through to our site managers, project managers, joiners and apprentices.

This level of depth allows our estimators and surveyors to ensure cost is accurate, reliable and at a very competitive level. Being able to remain competitive is how we have been able to secure tenders and, most importantly, retain clients and achieve repeat business with them, as well as forging strong client relationships.

Quality

The Worksmart team is made up of highly experienced professionals, each of whom is performing at the very top of their field. Worksmart is always looking to strengthen the team with individuals who demonstrate excellence in their area of expertise. By bringing in the hardest working and most meticulous individuals, the level of the team is improved and other people become more motivated.

Having such high standards among individuals means the bar is constantly being raised and the level of work improves each and every day. This is reflected in the quality and precision of the works we are able to produce for our clients.

The proof is most certainly in the pudding, so you can click here to view a range of our previous case studies.

blank

Differential 

We use a vast array of different avenues to support our clients. We believe this is becoming one of the most frequently asked questions by people in the industry. Worksmart’s aim is to create and develop a business that our staff want to work for, and one that clients want to work with. We continue to actively develop our team’s culture in order to help us develop as a business.

Worksmart have a proven track record in working in all market sectors with a variety of size, complexity and with various programme requirements and operational times. We have demonstrable success in all commercial market sectors, from commercial office interiors to education, healthcare, the public sector, leisure, retail and industrial markets.

We work closely with everyone involved in a project for the benefit of each and every party. This dedication to the final outcome is what allows us to produce such superior work. Our strengths also lie in our geography. With office locations in Kilmarnock, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London & Brussels, we are never too far from any of our clients, should they wish to meet. This gives us a distinct advantage over many of our competitors and makes life much easier for the people we work with.

blank

In order to remain as open and accessible as possible, we continue to adhere to our policy of our directors and senior managers being completely accessible to clients. Many clients approach us with horror stories of not being able to communicate freely with past contractors. We decided early on that we would never be that type of company. We believe in communication throughout all stages of a project. This involves the sharing of ideas and concerns in order to ensure complete client satisfaction during a project.

Get in Touch

If you have any upcoming projects or would like to learn more about Worksmart, we would be delighted to have a conversation. Get in touch with us here or give us a call on 01563 53 55 11.

 

My Four Week Construction Placement at Kilmarnock F.C.

blank

Not many young football fans get to spend time at the club they love after the full-time whistle has gone, but that’s exactly what happened to Fynlay. He was lucky enough to land a work experience placement, not only in the construction industry, but also at his beloved Kilmarnock Football Club! Fynlay was kind enough to document everything about the experience for Worksmart Contracts…

Being a Kilmarnock Football Club fan and knowing Worksmart Contracts, I decided to make contact to see if there was a possibility of an extended schools’ placement. I felt this would be the perfect way to gain experience in the construction industry between completing my fourth-year exams and returning to do my Highers after the summer.

I was invited to attend an interview in Worksmart’s Kilmarnock office and was made very comfortable by everyone I met. I was asked to go through my CV, tell them about myself and what I was doing both in and out of school.

Fortunately, my previous placement experience with James Guthrie, a local solicitor in Kilmarnock, gave me a lot to talk about. Coincidentally, both Worksmart and James Guthrie have been sponsors of my football team, Hurlford, over the last few seasons.

blank

The interview was good and I felt at ease as I have previously done mock interviews and talks with Worksmart at my school. These exercises are designed to help prepare young people for these exact types of situations, and I’m pleased to report it made a big difference!

Killie’s New Summer Signing!

I was lucky enough to secure a four-week contract, which included some great perks, decent rates and holiday pay! I had done some work in construction before but nothing like what I was going to be getting into this time.

I had my HR Induction in the office then taken to site with all my brand-new PPE kit ready to work. After meeting the Management Team, I was taken to another induction and met with all the on-site people. Everyone looked after me and made me look at safety and lifting etc. All the joiners, electricians, plumbers, painters, ventilation teams, flooring, and so many more trades were all great with me. It was amazing to see so many different trades doing their thing on a project.

As much as I was enjoying the work and the team, my favourite thing every day was seeing the Killie team and meeting the new Killie Manager. The Kilmarnock Football Club board would even say hello and ask how I was getting on! It was brilliant, and all because I was part of a large team ripping out and fitting out the lounges and facilities for Kilmarnock Football Club.

One of my friends also secured a work placement for a week, so it was great for us to be working together on site with the teams.

Back to School

Now that I have finished my work placement and I’m back at school, I can look back and be proud of having been a part something special at my favourite Club. Everyone I have spoken to absolutely loves the new facilities. The entire Worksmart team has done an incredible job.

I am also really proud to say that while I was working, I saved my wages and bought my junior season ticket as well as the new Killie top. It’s great knowing that my first wage went on something special… oh, and I also got a wee surprise for my maw and paw, just to keep them on my side!

I loved working in Construction and I’m now thinking that once I get my grades and make it to Law School, I can study Construction Law… or better yet play for Killie!

Thanks to everyone at Worksmart and all the subbies for letting me help them.